Mc donalds

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Mc donalds

  1. 1.   Who We Are  Services  Prices  Writing Samples  Writing Tips  Contact Us Home Dissertation Writing Samples Customer satisfaction at McDonald’s and Burger King, UK. Customer satisfaction at McDonald’s and Burger King, UK. Abstract Table of Contents [hide]  1 Abstract  2 Chapter 1: Introduction and Background o 2.1 Background of the study o 2.2 Organizational background o 2.3 Research aim and objectives o 2.4 Research questions
  2. 2. o 2.5 Overall limitations of the study o 2.6 Brief outline of the study  3 Chapter 2: Review of Literature o 3.1 Introduction o 3.2 Key elemts from review of literature o 3.3 Theoretical framework of research o 3.4 Conclusion  4 Chapter 3: Research methodology o 4.1 Introduction o 4.2 Research philosophy o 4.3 Research approach o 4.4 Data collection methods
  3. 3. o 4.5 Sampling strategy and sample size o 4.6 Data analysis tools and techniques o 4.7 Data presentation techniques o 4.8 Validity, reliability and generalization o 4.9 Consideration of ethical issues o 4.10 Conclusion  5 Chapter 4: Data Presentation o 5.1 Introduction o 5.2 Presentation of interview data o 5.3 Presentation of survey data o 5.4 Conclusion  6 Chapter 5: Discussion on research findings
  4. 4. o 6.1 Introduction o 6.2 Primary research findings o 6.3 Secondary research findings o 6.4 Conclusion  7 Chapter 6: Conclusions & Recommendations o 7.1 Introduction o 7.2 Conclusions on research findings o 7.3 Recommendations o 7.4 Self-reflection on research project o 7.5 Future research and opportunities o 7.6 Overall research limitations o 7.7 Conclusion
  5. 5. Customer satisfaction is one the most common and important aspects in any organization, particularly in fast-food industry. Due to market competition and availability of businesses, an organization needs to focus on the degree to which a customer is satisfied with its products and/or services of the organization. This research project is based on the comparative study on customer satisfaction at McDonald’s and Burger King, UK. Both the case studied organizations are leading fast-food businesses in the UK and other international countries. From several sources of information depicts that both business has been providing quality products and services to satisfy their customers. So, it can be noted that the selection of the case studied organizations are most relevant and appropriate to explore and analyse customer satisfaction in fast-food industry. Based on the review of literature, the researcher would like to opine that customer satisfaction is an important factor in fast-food industry and there are several common things
  6. 6. including quality of products, price of products, service quality, settings of the restaurant, promotion, brand name etc. have significant influence to satisfy customers. The review of literature also shows that there are some common models, such as SERVQUAL Model, Expectancy-disconfirmation Model, etc. can be used to measure degree to which a customer is satisfied or dissatisfied with products and/or services of an organization, like McDonald’s and Burger King. The primary research findings shows that majority of the customers are satisfied and highly satisfied with overall customer service at McDonald’s and Burger King. However, some the customers have mentioned that they are not satisfied with price of products at McDonald’s and Burger King. At the end, the researcher would like to opine that both McDonald’s and Burger King have been developing and implementing policies and practices to satisfy their
  7. 7. customers and however, both business have to focus on the current market trends in fast-food as well as demands and expectations of the customers to increase customer satisfaction. Chapter 1: Introduction and Background Background of the study Fast-food business is one the most common business mostly in developed countries that depicts a process of delivering foods more quickly than other any other restaurant system and it takes less time to prepare the foods as well as ready for eating and/or delivering to the customers (Khan, 2012). Khan (2012) has mentioned that customers are the most important part of any business and they are the people who have significant influence and impact on the business, including fast-food business. Customer satisfaction is the personal feelings about foods and services in the fast-food business that has been considering as one the most important aspects within the business.
  8. 8. Customer satisfaction is one of the most common and important aspect in recent globalized and competitive businessenvironment throughout the international markets. Customer satisfaction is a behavioural approach of the customers that can be defined as the level of satisfaction by the customers after buying and/or consuming a particular product/service from a business. The level of customer satisfaction has been playing significant roles to develop organizational policies and objectives as well as business strategies to increase customer satisfaction through providing quality products and/or services to the customer. For example, Hill et al. (2007) have mentioned that customer satisfaction is regarding one of the most important aspects within a business to focus profits of the business through customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction by virtue of customer satisfaction, returns to shareholder by customer satisfaction, impacts of customer satisfaction on macro-environment and so on.
  9. 9. In today’s ever-increasing globalization of services and brands, service-oriented businesses, such as fast-food industry need to attend to the satisfaction of their customers (Gilbert et al., 2004). Customer satisfaction with limited-service restaurants reached a score of 80, a new peak. Just 2 years ago, the index score stood at 75. Papa John’s performed best in the category, with a score of 83, up 5% from 79 last year. Little Caesar and Subway followed with a score of 82, tied with the aggregate of all other limited-service restaurants, at 82. Pizza Hut saw a 3.7% decline to 79, while Starbucks also fell, by 5%, to a score of 76 (Marketing Charts Staff, 2012). Customer satisfaction is becoming key issue and concern for a business, particularly for fast food business. Customer satisfaction has been considered as one of the most important index for the measuring of organizational performance of a business. For example, Michman and
  10. 10. Mazze (1998) have mentioned that customer satisfaction is considering as vital issue for a business, like fast food business because product quality and diversification of business is essential to influence customers’ buying patterns and thus to satisfy them. As an example, they have mentioned that McDonald’s has distinguished itself with superior customer service and product consistency while offering low prices and high value to customers. On the other hand, Burger King has not developed a clear strategy, like McDonald’s; however, Burger King appears to have followed a strategy of being second best, as a close market follower of McDonald’s (Michman and Mazze, 1998). So, it can be said that both companies have been focusing on customer services with quality products in relation to increase customer satisfaction. Khan (2012) has noted that the success and failure of fast food industry depends on several key aspects, price of the products, quality of products, services to the customers, promotions,
  11. 11. customer expectations, brand, physical distribution and location of the store, and taste of the product and other related things. This research project is based on the comparative analysis of customer satisfaction at McDonald’s and Burger King, leading fast-food chains in the UK as well as in the international markets. McDonald’s is one of the world’s leading and largest fast-food businesses throughout the international markets. Burger King is another world’s leading fast-food business throughout the international markets. Thus, the researcher would like to say that customer satisfaction is becoming an important issue and concern for an organization, particularly for fast-food businesses, such as McDonald’s and Burger King. So, the comparative study of customer satisfaction at McDonald’s and Burger King in the UK can be considered as time worthy and most effective research project. The researcher is self-motivated to carry out such type of research project. The selection of research topic is based on the importance of academic, organizational and personal point of
  12. 12. views. Customer satisfaction within fast food industry is becoming key issue for the success of the business through creating brand loyalty and customer loyalty. The researcher will explore and analyse existing theories and practices on customer satisfaction through review of literatures and primary research findings. So, the comparative study of customer satisfaction at McDonald’s and Burger King has academic importance. The researcher will develop valid recommendations to the case studied organization in accordance with identified issues and concerns from review of literatures and primary research. So, this research project has significance from organizational perspective. The research project is designated in such a way that will improve knowledge and understanding of the business management through analysing customer satisfaction. So, this research project has importance from personal view. Organizational background
  13. 13. The researcher has selected two major leading fast-food businesses, such as McDonald’s and Burger King in the UK. McDonald’s is the world’s most famous fast-food restaurant and Burger King is one of the main competitors of McDonald’s. The researcher would like to discuss and explain organizational background, i.e. organizational information of McDonald’s and Burger King as follows- McDonald’s: McDonald’s is a famous fast food restaurant known in 119 nations around the world because of products and services. The most recognizable brand is the Golden Arches closely followed by the clown character called Ronald McDonald. The company is well known throughout the world because of its products, such as hamburgers and strong branding (Hassan, 2010). The entry of Ray Kroc was one of the historical events for McDonald’s success because of his significant changes and development within the business. For
  14. 14. example, Ray Kroc had brought the business outside of California and Arizona and more than 100 restaurants were in operation by 1959 (Hassan, 2010). McDonald’s is the world’s leading fast food business. Innovation and environmentally sustainability approach of the business is one of the prime aspects at McDonald’s in relation to provide foods and services to the customers throughout the world, including in the UK (Love, 2008). McDonald’s is the world’s largest and biggest fast food chain. McDonald’s was opened by two brothers named Richard and Maurice McDonald in 1937 in California, some scholars have mentioned that McDonald’s first opened in 1940 in California (Gaspar, 2005). And so it was, on 12 December, 1948, that the new revamped McDonald’s Restaurant opened, and Richard McDonald cooked the first McDonald’s hamburger (Gaspar, 2005). Since then the company has been providing fast food items in United States (U.S.) and other international markets.
  15. 15. The values of McDonald’s reflect the approach and practices of customer satisfaction. For example, McDonald’s is committed to doing the right thing from the beginning of the business. The company has been developing and implementing several policies, programs and practices in place that allow the business to use its size and scope to help make a difference because McDonald’s believes what’s good for the business, is good for all of us (McDonald’s, 2012). The author has revealed information from McDonald’s (2012) that shows that customers are the first in the business of McDonald’s. The information also shows that McDonald’s has been adopting most effective and appropriate strategies to offer high- quality products, quicker services in a clean and friendly environment as well as commitment towards the value for money for the customers. Mckinney (2012) has noted that according to American Consumer Satisfaction Index, McDonald’s has the worst level of customer satisfaction and also noted that all McDonald’s
  16. 16. customers are not agreed with the business vision, i.e. I’m lovin it’ of McDonald’s. Mckinney (2012) has mentioned that it is worth noting that the company has made significant improvements since 2004. On the other hand, McDonald’s issued a statement in response: “At McDonald’s, customer satisfaction has, and continues to be, a top priority. We take all customer feedback seriously. Through restaurant evaluations and customer and employee feedback, we are continually evaluating our performance. Our internal and third-party research shows that we continue to make progress in satisfying our customers (McDonald’s, 2012). The company has been carrying out customer satisfaction survey for the purpose of hearing from customer because customer satisfaction is important to the business. The company has been carrying out customer satisfaction survey and the feedback of the customer shared directly with all restaurants to help to make next purchase an excellence experience (McDonald’s, 2012).
  17. 17. Thus, based on the customer satisfaction approach and practice at McDonald’s, it is clear that McDonald’s is one of the most relevant organizations to carry out customer satisfaction in fast food business. Burger King: Burger King is second leading fast food business in the world. Burger King is depending on repeat purchases from satisfied customers. The company has been focusing on high-quality food, good value and dependable service (Pride and Ferrell, 2012). They have mentioned that the company has been providing different services with quality foods to increase number of customers through satisfying their needs and demands in accordance with current trends and demand within the fast-food industry. According to the Associates Press (2012), Burger King was opened in 1954 in Miami by David Edgerton. Three months later, Jim McLamore matches Edgerton’s capital and the co-
  18. 18. founders form a corporation called Burger King of Miami Inc. In 2002, Burger King goes publicly. In 2010, Burger King is taken by private business, known as 3G Capital and the new owners begin yearlong processes to revive the business through new menu items and remodelled stores. From the beginning the business is trying to provide quality products and excellent services to the customers for the purpose of creating brand loyalty among other competitors in fast food industry (The Associates Press, 2012). Burger King, the second largest fast food chain is launching a nationwide customer experience programme called Guest Track in the UK (United Kingdom), in partnership with customer insight agency SMG. Burger King says that in an increasingly challenging market, the customer experience is a vital driver for retaining existing customers and attracting new customers. The company is committed to pass information within entire system of the
  19. 19. business in real time and particularly for the company’s operational activities in relation to food quality, cleanliness and speed of service (Sales Promotion Publishing Ltd, 2012). Thus, the approach of customer experience programme at Burger King can be considered as appropriate initiatives to increase customer satisfaction within Burger King. The researcher has revealed information from Burger King Empire (2012) that shows the mission statement of Burger King that reflects commitment to customers. The business mission and vision reflects the commitment towards the customers. For example, Burger King has been providing first priority on the quality foods at simpler and quicker ways to its customers. The second priority of the business is cleaner environment in compare to other competitors in the fast-food industry. Finally, the business is committed to create better organizational culture that will help to create more customers through word-of-mouth
  20. 20. marketing approach. So, the issue of customer satisfaction is prime concern of the mission statement of Burger King. According to American Consumer Satisfaction Index (2012), Burger King has improved its level of customer satisfaction compare to last year and compare to other bigger competitors, like McDonald’s. The key success factor at Burger King that mainly concern with the customer satisfaction is the commitment towards improved services to its customers. The company has been conducting different customer satisfaction program and based on the feedback and suggestions, the business has been developing and implementing different strategies to increase customer satisfaction through reducing number of customers’ complaints (Kelso, 2012).
  21. 21. According to a recent report from the National Customer Satisfaction Index, Burger King has shown the most improvement in customer satisfaction among guests in the United Kingdom market. Even though McDonald’s scores also improved during the measured period, Burger King’s jump surpassed the Golden Arches for the first time (Kelso, 2012). In accordance with the discussion and explanation of the overall business activities of both McDonald’s and Burger King, it is clear that both businesses are committed to provide quality products and excellence services to their customers. Thus, the researcher would like to opine that the comparative study of customer satisfaction at McDonald’s and Burger King is most time effective and appropriate research project in respect to organizational point of views. Research aim and objectives
  22. 22. The primary research aim is to analyse customer satisfaction at fast food industry through comparative study of McDonald’s and Burger King. The objectives of this research project as follows-  To explore and analyse existing theories and practices on customer satisfaction within fast food industry, case of McDonald’s and Burger King through review of literatures;  To identify and evaluate key factors influencing customer satisfaction at McDonald’s and Burger King through primary and secondary research findings;  To collect primary and secondary data and information in relation to current approaches and practices on customer satisfaction at McDonald’s and Burger King;  To represent data and information in such a way that will reflect overall description and explanation on customer satisfaction at McDonald’s and Burger King; and
  23. 23.  To develop valid conclusions and recommendations in accordance with key themes obtained from the primary and secondary data and information both in terms of academic and organizational perspective. Research questions The primary research question is what are the common factors that affect customer satisfaction at McDonald’s and Burger King? The other research questions include-  What are the current business practices to satisfy customers at McDonald’s and Burger King?  How the case studied organizations, such as McDonald’s and Burger King have been satisfying their customers?  What are the common features within case studied organizations, such as McDonald’s and Burger King leading customer satisfaction?
  24. 24.  What are the levels of customer satisfaction towards McDonald’s and Burger King, UK? and  What are the future plans and policies to improve current customer satisfaction at McDonald’s and Burger King? Overall limitations of the study There were limitations involved in this research project- 1. Shortage of time and financial resources were the most common limitations. Due to limited time to there was limited review of literature. And this research project was based on self-financed, so due to lack money the researcher has conducted limited interviews and surveys to collect primary data from the case studied organizations, such as McDonald’s and Burger King. So, the limited time and lack of available financial resources was one the most vital limitations for this research project.
  25. 25. 2. The concern for ethical issues and access to the case studied organizations, such as McDonald’s and Burger King were another limitation of this research project. The researcher has limited access to the data and information on current practices and policies of customer services and approach of customer satisfaction because of confidentiality of the case studied organizations. 3. The limited number of samples during the interview and survey may have negative impact on the primary research findings and thus the preparation of final research report. There was limited number of interviews and surveys because of shortage of time and money of the researcher. There were few samples both in interview and survey to collect primary data from the case studied organizations, such as McDonald’s and Burger King.
  26. 26. 4. The lack of interview and survey skills of the researcher may affect the collection of primary data from the case studied organizations, such as McDonald’s and Burger King. Brief outline of the study In this research project, there are six chapters. All of those chapters can be briefly discuss as follows- Chapter 1- Introduction and Background: Under this chapter, the researcher has to discuss and explain some of the most common and major issues of a research project. In this chapter, several issues and concerns, such as background of the study, background of the case studied organizations, research aim and objectives, research questions and overall limitations of the research study etc. have discussed and explained by the researcher.
  27. 27. Chapter 2- Review of Literature: In this chapter, the researcher has discussed and explained existing theories and practices of customer satisfaction, factors influencing customer satisfaction, aspects of customer satisfaction at McDonald’s, aspects of customer satisfaction at Burger King and theoretical background of the research project. Chapter 3- Research Methodology: This chapter has been designated to cover all relevant concepts of research methodology. Some of the most common aspects of this chapter include- research philosophies, research approaches, research methods, advantages and disadvantages of used research methods, data collection methods and techniques, sampling strategy and sample size, data analysis tools and techniques, data presentation techniques, consideration of ethical issues and overall limitations of the research methodology etc. Chapter 4- Research Findings and Analysis: In this chapter, the researcher has presented both primary and secondary research findings with their analysis. The researcher has
  28. 28. presented research findings through findings from review of literature and their analysis and findings from primary data and their analysis. Chapter 5- Discussions: In this chapter, the researcher has provided critical discussion of the research findings, both of primary and secondary. Based on the critical discussions of the research findings, the researcher has draw conclusions and recommendations in accordance with research aims and objectives. Chapter 6- Conclusions and recommendations: This is the final chapter of this research project. Under this chapter, the researcher has provided conclusive remarks and cost-effective and constructive recommendations both to academic and organizational point of views. Chapter 2: Review of Literature Introduction Review of literature is one the most common and important chapter in any research. This chapter has crucial influence on the overall research activities and thus to develop standard
  29. 29. research report with identifying and analysing key issues, concerns, theories and practices etc. in accordance with research topic. In this chapter, the researcher has to discuss and explain all relevant previous research works, including all related concepts, arguments, key debates and criticism on the research areas. So, this chapter has been playing significant roles to build framework and background of the research project. For example, according to Saunders et al. (2009), there are following key benefits of review of literature in any research project-  It builds the framework and provide background to complete a research project with identifying key issues and concerns as well as criticism relating to research topic;  It helps the researcher to synthesize and evaluate research topic through identifying gaps in the previous research works;
  30. 30.  It helps the researcher to develop research questions, hypothesis or propositions in relation to collect primary data;  It helps the research to develop valid conclusions and recommendations within final research report. Thus, from the above discussion, it can be noted that the critical literature review has been playing significant roles to explore and analyse key issues and concerns of the proposed research subject. Based on the discussion and explanation of those issues and concerns, the researcher may develop conclusions and recommendations through evaluating existing issues and concerns relating to the research topic. Under this chapter, the author has presented all of the relevant previous research works for the purpose of comparative study of customer satisfaction at McDonald’s and Burger King, leading fast chains in the world, including in the UK.
  31. 31. Key elemts from review of literature This research project is based on the comparative study of customer satisfaction at McDonald’s and Burger King, world’s leading fast-food chain. Burger King was founded in 1954 by its propellers McLamore and Edgerton. In the present situation, the business is operating 7,800 restaurants and contributed 21.9% of fast-food market share (Burger King, 2012). Meanwhile, McDonalds’ was introduced a year after, 1955. Founded by Ray Kroc and presently operating in 13,000 restaurants while contributing a 44% of market share in fast food industry (McDonald’s, 2012). The researcher has discussed and explained all of the relevant issues and concerns of customer satisfaction at McDonald’s and Burger King under following three sub-heading- 1. Definition and explanation of customer satisfaction;
  32. 32. 2. Customer satisfaction at McDonald’s; 3. Customer satisfaction at Burger King; and 4. Tools and techniques to measure customer satisfaction. A. Definition and explanation of customer satisfaction Customer satisfaction, a business term is defined as a measure of how products and services supplied by a business meet or surpass customer expectation. It is seen as a key performance indicator within a business (Khare, 2012). He has also described that in a competitive marketplace where businesses compete for customers; customer satisfaction is seen as a key differentiator and increasingly has become a key element of business strategy. Over the past few decades, the concept of customer satisfaction has attracted the attention of practitioners and academic researchers. Although widely used as a business performance
  33. 33. indicator (Luo and Homburg, 2007) and consumer choice assessor, there is still lack of consensus as to what this multidimensional concept mean. Some researchers have conceptualize this concept as an emotional response to an evaluative process (Oliver, 1997).Others like (Woodruff, et al., 1987; Halstead, et al., 1994; Westbrook and Reilly, 1983) also share a different view by claiming this concept to be an effective response process which in itself is cognitive in scope (Bolton and Drew, 1991; Howard and Sheth, 1969; Tse and Wilton, 1988). The success of a business depends on the level of satisfaction by its customers. The level of customer satisfaction reflects the positive attitude and feelings towards the business. The research shows that most of the satisfied customers recommend to others about the products and services of that business and thus the business may gain more competitive edge in the
  34. 34. market through increasing customers’ satisfaction. For the purpose of gaining and/or achieving business success, there should more focus on the needs and demands as well as expectations of the customers and thus need to develop policy to provide right products and/or services to meet those needs, demands and expectations of the customers. Customer satisfaction is becoming one the key issue in recent competitive business environment because of much awareness and consciousness of customers throughout the local and international business markets. A business has to perform several activities to satisfy its customers through providing quality products as well as quality services along with other commitment towards customers and the community in which it has been operating and managing its business. For example, Xue et al. (2008) have mentioned that customer satisfaction (CS) has becomes one of the cores of modern service competition. They have
  35. 35. also mentioned that there are some major aspects, such as infrastructure and the appearance of physical facilities; dependability and accuracy; betimes character of service; the reliability of the trusted staffs; customer care; price diversity; and food quality etc. are have significant influence on customer satisfaction in fast food industry. The definition and explanation of customer satisfaction may vary depending on the type of business and the demo-, socio-, and economic characteristics of the customers and the markets of the business. For example, Oliver (1997) has defined customer satisfaction as satisfaction is the consumer’s fulfilment response. It is a judgement that a product or service feature, or the product or service itself, provided (or providing) pleasurable level of consumption-related fulfilment, including under- or over- fulfilment. Khan (2012) has mentioned that customers are the vital part of any business, including fast food industry, such as McDonald’s and Burger King and satisfaction is the individual feeling of pleasure or
  36. 36. disappointment after purchasing a product/service from a business. So, customer satisfaction is the level of pleasure or disappointment of an individual while purchasing or consuming a particular product and/or service from a business. Khan (2012) has concluded that customer satisfaction is very important for a business; however, a business can not satisfy all of its customers because of multiple customers and different choices and views of them. According to Riel (2005), customer satisfaction is considered as key driver for the success of an organization, like fast food industry. He has mentioned that the success of the business depends on the approach of customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is defined as the expressions or approach of satisfaction on products and services perceived from a business. Due to ever-increasing of globalization of services and brands, customer satisfaction is becoming vital concern for fast food business (Gilbert et
  37. 37. al., 2004). The approach of satisfying customers through quality products and services is playing crucial roles on the success and prospers of fast food businesses, like McDonald’s and Burger King (Gilbert et al., 2004). The feeling of pleasure and expectation fulfilment of a customer by a business is known customer satisfaction (Zairi, 2000). He has also mentioned that if the products/services satisfy the customers, they will become loyal to the products/services and towards the brand and on the other hand, if the customers become dissatisfied with the products/services, the customer may switch to other business or may not purchase again from that business. So, customer satisfaction is important part for a business for the purpose of competing in the markets and thus achieves organizational goals and objectives.
  38. 38. In their study of customer satisfaction, Veloutsou et al. (2005) have mentioned that customer satisfaction is the perceived values and level of satisfaction between tangible and intangible products and services provided by a business. He has noted the difference between physical and non-physical products and services that are considered as the most vital factor in satisfying customers by the business. In similar views, Churcill and Surprenant (1982) have stated that the overall feelings and emotional feedback towards particular products and/or services of a business by a customer after being using of that products and/or services in terms of expectation, ability to meet demands and needs as well as some sorts of physiological expressions about the products and/or services. Kurniawan (2010) has described that customer satisfaction is a dynamic process that can change over period of time. The reasons include- the changes in consumer behaviour, the changes in price of similar or
  39. 39. same products and services in other business, and the concern of quality of products and services and so on. So, customer satisfaction is diverse and complex issue within a business. Based on the review of previous research works, the researcher has found that several authors and scholars have identified some determinants in relation to describe and explain customer satisfaction. The researcher would like to mention following major examples of the determinants of customer satisfaction-  Promotion: According to Huang (2011) promotion is a form of marketing activities of a business that set out in relation to create more customers through catching their attention in different ways. All of these activities have vital roles to increase customer satisfaction. For example, Kurniawan (2010) has noted that promotion of a product
  40. 40. and/or service helps a business to build strong relationships with customers and thus help to increase customer satisfaction.  Quality: Quality is one of the most common factors in customer satisfaction that can be measure through categorizing or providing some sorts of standardization to the products and/or services of a business (Takeuchi, 1983). For example, service quality is most effective determinant in customer satisfaction that is evaluated when a customer compare his or her perception and expectation of service delivery (Gronroos, 1984). Zeithaml (1985) has noted that many researchers often use service quality to determine and measure customer satisfaction. Zeithaml (1985) have developed a model known as SERVQUAL model that is designated to measure service quality of a business and it is a scale with multiple items that can be used to understand and find out the service expectation and customer’s perception. Based on the results derived from SERVQUAL
  41. 41. model, it is can be said that the more customer expectation the more customer satisfaction and vice versa. However, there is criticism of SERVQUAL model to measure customer satisfaction in fast food industry. A number of researchers have criticized the SERVQUAL approach. Two criticisms are notable. One, charged by Peter et al. (1993) and Brown et al. (1993), relates to the indirect difference score approach. Brown et al. (1993) observed that difference scores produced theoretically poorer reliabilities than their component scores.  Branding: Kurniawan (2010) has identified that branding is one of the most vital factors which have been identified repeatedly customer choice in the selected product/service from a particular business. Branding has been playing crucial roles within customers’ purchase decisions and the more brand is succeeded the more value for its brand can be generated and thus to increase customer satisfaction (Khan, 2011).
  42. 42. For instance, Boukili (2008) has noted that the process by which a business can build positive image about products and/or services through adding some unique features with those products and/or services and completely different from other products/services of the existing competitors in the market. Thus, branding helps the customers to make decisions whether to purchase a product/service from that brand or not.  Physical environment: Physical surroundings or environment has significant influence to chose or purchase a product/service from a business. As an example, Lim (2010) mentioned that the settings and decoration of the restaurant that cane termed as physical environment helps to create positive image about the business among the customers and thus help to influence their behaviour during the purchase. Lim (2010) also mentioned that there is significant influence of physical environment within restaurants whereas
  43. 43. lightening, furnishing, sent, music and different other environmental factors among them influence on customer satisfaction.  Price: Price of a product and/or service is the foremost factor in customer satisfaction. Price is set out in accordance with the value of the product/service of a business. For instance, Khan (2011) has mentioned that majority of the customers express their level of satisfaction of particular products and services based on the price of those products and services compare to other businesses. So, price is one the most important determinant to measure the level of customer satisfaction of a product/service of a business.  Taste of products: Lim (2010) has stated that there is significant correlation between taste and customer satisfaction within restaurants or fast food business. Lim (2010) has noted that many researchers have concluded and suggested restaurant business has to
  44. 44. focus on the taste of the foods in relation increase customer satisfaction, as the taste of foods provides positive attitude towards products and thus increase their level of satisfaction for the next purchase. Leon and Leslie (2006) have described that customer satisfaction is one of the most vital aspects of a restaurant business, while the degree of customer satisfaction provided by the goods and/or services as measured by the number of repeated customers. They have also mentioned that intense competition and high quality expectation from customer have forced fast food industry to transform from a product-centric approach to a customer-centric approach. Grigoroudis and Siskos (2010) have mentioned following aspects in relation to customer satisfaction within fast food industry, including McDonald’s and Burger King-
  45. 45. 1. Customer satisfaction provides most reliable and appropriate market information and thus based on the market information, the organizations can develop and implement strategies to satisfy their customers; 2. Customer satisfaction is vital to explore market opportunities for a business; 3. Customer satisfaction can be used to understand customers’ behaviours as well as to identify and analyse customers’ expectations, needs and desires toward the business; and 4. Customer satisfaction helps an organization to reveal potential differences in the service quality perceptions between the customers and the management of the business organization. Hall and Mitchell (2000) have emphasized that despite rapid globalization of the food market in many destinations, homogenization of production or consumption is not a certainty. In
  46. 46. fast-food industry, customer satisfaction is one of the most important strategic tools used for building a company’s brand image. Further, the phenomenon of customer satisfactions in this industry is of critical importance for organizational success especially due to the heterogeneity of the product and the service involved as well as also due to the fast changing customers’ requirements. In many researches customer satisfaction has been probed as most important factor on overall firm’s performance as it directly affect the flow and enormity of customer traffic of the fast food restaurants. Thus, from the above discussion and explanation, it is clear that customer satisfaction is becoming key issue and concern to achieve competitive advantage by a business, like fast food industry. B. Customer satisfaction at McDonald’s McDonald’s is the world’s largest food service retailer with more than 30,000 restaurants in over 119 countries. The company is recognized a growing trend in the quick service
  47. 47. restaurant industry toward timely and accurate customer service. The company has been following innovations and using different technologies for the purpose providing quality products and services to the customers (Astute Solutions, 2012). McDonald’s is the largest fast food chains in the world. The company has been performing different activities to satisfy its customers. However, in accordance with data collected by the American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) reveals that McDonald’s ranks in last place in customer satisfaction, despite being the top fast food company in terms of revenue (The HuffingtonPost.Com, Inc., 2012). The data from ACSI shows that the company was highest in customer satisfaction in 1995. ACSI is a national economic indicator of customer evaluations of the quality of products and services. The ACSI uses data from interviews with roughly 70,000 customers annually for
  48. 48. measuring customer satisfaction. Since 1995, McDonald’s has consistently ranked last, according to the ACSI. However, there is good news: The restaurant, which serves tens of millions of customers a day, had a rating of only 59 back on 2000. This year’s ranking is the best ever for McDonald’s (CBS Local Media, 2012). Based on the survey carried by ACSI (2012), it is clear that McDonald’s has the lowest score in customer satisfaction compare to other fast-food industry around the USA and other international countries. In all fairness to the food and service at McDonald’s, even though they rank last, they have been showing some improvements, such as reducing price, introducing new menu, facilities to customers at stores, ensuring cleanliness and tidiness within stores etc. They have ranked dismally last since 1995 and at one point in 2000 their level of satisfaction was only 59%, in 2012 it is 73% which is an increase from 2012. McDonald’s executives take these findings seriously and have been trying to give the customers what they want (Esteves, 2012). On the
  49. 49. other hand, McDonald’s vice president of operations, Jim McCabe has said that the company has been performing better and continuously making progress in satisfying customers. He also noted that in fact, the producers of the ACSI said that McDonald’s customer satisfaction is at an all-time high (Farberov, 2012). Farberov (2012) has represent following figure to shows that how McDonald’s has been ranking below average on customer satisfaction- The researcher has derived information from ACSI (2012) that shows the position of McDonald’s in customer satisfaction compare to other competitors in the U.S. and other international markets. The results can be shown in a table as follows- Table: 2.1. Results on customer satisfaction at fast-food businesses Name of restaurant 2009 2010 2011 2012 Previous year % change First year % change Papa John’s 75 80 79 80 1.3 15.9 Wendy’s 76 77 77 78 1.3 8.3 Pizza Hut 74 78 81 78 -3.7 13.0
  50. 50. KFC 69 75 75 75 0.0 11.9 Burger King 69 74 75 75 0.0 13.6 McDonald’s70 67 72 73 1.4 15.9 Source: ACSI, 2012 From the above table, it is clear that McDonald’s has been ranking lower since 2007 to 2012 among major and top ten fast-food chains both in the U.S. and in the international markets. McDonald’s is one of the best known brands in the world. The business has been building its brand through continuous listening and responding to its customers about their choices and preferences towards the business (McDonald’s, 2012). Having identifying its key audiences, such as customers and target market, McDonald’s has been developing and implementing marketing mixes for the purpose of satisfying customers and increasing their loyalty to the business. For example, in the UK due to changes in technological aspects, the business has introduced new food production techniques, free Wi-Fi services, services while
  51. 51. driving etc. All of these efforts have been taken in relation to increase customer satisfaction (McDonald’s, 2012). Another example shows that through marketing, McDonald’s establishes a prominent position in the minds of customers that is known as branding of McDonald’s (McDonald’s, 2012). To support this argument at McDonald’s customer satisfaction, Dhavale (2012) has mentioned that McDonald’s focuses not only delivering on sales for the immediate present, but also protecting its long term brand reputation. He has also mentioned that the business has been developing a sophisticated networked operation and distribution system in relation to achieve consistent product taste and quality across the nations in the world. As concluding remarks, Dhavale (2012) has stated that McDonald’s thinks according to the customers’
  52. 52. tastes, value systems, lifestyles, language and perception that reflect the commitment of the business to increase and improve customer satisfaction. Fitzgerald and Moon (1996) have mentioned that the employees of the McDonald’s have been focusing on the particular demands and expectations of the customers to increase their level of satisfaction on the products and services at the business. They have also mentioned that most of the employees at McDonald’s are talking constantly with the customers to get their feedback and suggestions and thus develop business policy to reduce customers’ complaints in relation to increase customer satisfaction at the business compare to other competitors in the fast-food industry. At the end, based on the information revealed from ivythesis.typepad.com, 2011, the author would like to concluded that McDonald’s employees, such as general employees, like crew members and managers are responsible to
  53. 53. communicate and interact with the customers to get their feedback and suggestions about the products and services and thus take initiatives and decisions to overcome major drawbacks in providing products and services in more convenient ways to increase customer satisfaction. The commitment of McDonald’s to employees also reflects the practices and policies of increasing and improving customer satisfaction in the UK and other international markets. McDonald’s has been recruiting or hiring people to ensure quality products and services to the customers. Based on the information obtained from City and Guilds (2012), the researcher would like to mention that McDonald’s has been providing training to staff while seeing immediate improvements in customer satisfaction. The information shows that McDonald’s aims to develop employees’ knowledge and skills so that they improve their performance meet the highest quality standards and deliver customer satisfaction. It is all
  54. 54. about the effective day-to-day running of each restaurant and how every apprentice can contribute to improve and increase customer satisfaction (City and Guilds, 2012). So, it is clear that analysis of customer satisfaction at McDonald’s in comparison with Burger King is relevant and appropriate research project. C. Customer satisfaction at Burger King Burger King Corporation is a fast food restaurant chain which opened its doors in 1954, specialising in flame broiled hamburger sandwiches known as Whoppers. The company became famous for their marketing of those hamburgers to customers through the “Have It Your Way” advertising campaign during the 1970s. Continuing this customer satisfaction pursuit, Burger King makes it easy for dining patrons with customer service related issues to
  55. 55. contact them directly by telephone, through a written letter or in person at any restaurant location (Kimberling, 2012). Burger King and its franchises operated over 11,000 restaurants in the U.S. and 57 countries and international territories around the world, producing 2000 system wide sales of $11 billion in 2004 (Trustees of Dartmouth College, 2004). According to Hasanali et al. (2005) in response, Burger King undertook extensive research to better understand the key drivers of customer satisfaction in fast food. Through statistical analysis, Burger King determined that the four most critical drivers are quality, service, cleanliness, and value. However, Bruton (2010) has mentioned that Burger King is losing customers because of four main reasons- marketing approach is not appropriate and effective compare to other competitors; the slow process in making food; less focus on kids; and changes in product recipe etc.
  56. 56. A new report from the National Customer Satisfaction Index indicates that customer satisfaction with restaurants in the United Kingdom is on an upswing. Specifically, limited- service restaurants achieved an all-time high score for customer satisfaction, with 76 points out of 100. Within the restaurant category, Burger King showed the most improvement in British customer satisfaction, jumping to 71 from 66 point, and passing McDonald’s. Nevertheless, McDonald’s improves from 68 to 69, its highest customer satisfaction score to date (Kelso, 2012). Burger King has been developing and implementing several policies and activities to improve and increase customer satisfaction. For example, Sidhu (2010) has mentioned that Burger King has recently released a new method, known as monitoring customer flow within store through cameras of customer service. The purpose of developing this method is to monitor
  57. 57. and assess the movement and behaviour of customers within the store. Based on the customers behaviour, Burger King has been improving and modifying service approaches and practices to ensure quality services to them (Sidhu, 2010). Burger King says that, in an increasingly challenging market, the customer experience is a vital driver for retaining existing customers and attracting new business. In this case, the business has introduced a program known as GUEST TRAC in the UK. The information collected is fed back to the entire Burger King system in real time and is specifically targeted to the company’s operational focus on food quality, cleanliness and speed of service (Promotional Marketing, 2012). The researcher has revealed information from Customer Service Scoreboard.Com (2012) that shows that customer service at Burger King is ranked 176 out of the 576 companies with an overall score of 45.65 out of a possible 200 based upon
  58. 58. 288 ratings. However, this score reflects that customer service and customer support at Burger King is disappointing. Pride and Ferrell (2011) have mentioned that Burger King, a leading fast-food chain depend on repeated purchases from satisfied customers, whereas customer expectations revolve around high-quality food, good value and dependable service. The business has been focusing on all of these issues to satisfy customers and thus to increase brand image and loyalty in fast-food business. So, the analysis of customer satisfaction at Burger King in comparison with McDonald’s is relevant and appropriate research project. The researcher has obtained information from Ivythesis.typepad.com (2012) that shows that both McDonald’s and Burger King has been offering same or similar products and services to compete in the fast-food markets, however, each business has its own approach to deliver
  59. 59. quality products and services to its customers to satisfy them and thus to increase customer loyalty. For example, as for the products, both McDonalds and Burger King are the largest consumers of beef/meat products, and sometimes producing the mind ongoing McDonalds- Burger King conflict (Hruby, 2004). Another example shows that both McDonald’s and Burger King has been providing better working environment for their employees to offer best services to the customers. For instance, however, the industrial experts quoted that working in Burger King is more advisable because of the dining quality and therefore, it also leaves a positive image on the customers in the areas of maintenance and cleanliness. This fact is also considered as an advantage and has the implication as being the most desirable working place (Highhouse, et al., 1999). According to Kennedy (2012), McDonald’s and directs rivals Burger King consistently score very similarly on the ACSI survey, with Burger King stores generally
  60. 60. outperforming by a small margin. This was the story again this year, with Burger King commercial properties sitting on 75 per cent satisfaction to McDonald’s 73 per cent. D. Tools and techniques to measure customer satisfaction A business may obtain more success and profits from satisfied customer and thus in this case, customer satisfaction can be considered as most important aspects of that business. Customer satisfaction measurement can be viewed as the process of measuring behavioural approach of the customers. There are several tools and techniques that have been using for the purpose of measuring customer satisfaction in service-based business, including fast food business, such as McDonald’s and Burger King. The researcher has reviewed some of the following major tools and techniques in relation to measure customer satisfaction in fast food business-
  61. 61. i. SERVQUAL model: Service quality model, known as SERVQUAL model is widely used tool to measure customer satisfaction. This model has been developed by Zeithaml in 1985. The model is based on some specific items, such as tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, assurance and empathy etc. against which the level of satisfaction of a customer is measured and assesses for a particular business. SERVQUAL model is defined as the difference between the customer’s expectations for the service being offered and his perceptions of the service actually received (Zeithaml, 1985). ii. Expectancy-disconfirmation model: Oliver (1981) has developed Expectancy- disconfirmation model in relation to measure customer satisfaction. Expectancy- disconfirmation theory posits that customers form their satisfaction with a target product or service as a result of subjective (or direct) comparisons between their expectations and perceptions. Customers are directly asked to provide their perceptions or evaluations of the
  62. 62. comparisons, using a `worse than/better than expected’ scale. The expectancy- disconfirmation model asserts that customer satisfaction is a direct function of subjective disconfirmation. Churchill and Surprenant (1982) have noted that the level of expectation by a customer and the perception of that customer about a product/service can be regarding as important factor that influencing customer satisfaction. So, the expectancy-disconfirmation model can be used to measure the level of customer satisfaction at any business, including fast-food business, like McDonald’s and Burger King. iii. Means-end-model: Zeithaml (1988) has developed means-end model in respect to determine perceived value of a customer that has significant influence on customer satisfaction. Based on this model, it is clear that perceived value is a direct antecedent of a purchase decision and a direct consequence of perceived service quality that ultimately affect the customer’s satisfaction. As an example, Parasuraman (1997) has mentioned that the role
  63. 63. of customers’ perceived value in understanding consumer behaviour is remarkable and thus it can be noted that means-end model of perceived value is important tool and technique to measure customer satisfaction. iv. Behavioural intentions model: Brady and Cronin (2000) have mentioned that the measurement and determination of behavioural intentions of customers can be used to measure the level of satisfaction of a customer on particular product/service of a business. As an example, Anwar and Gulzar (2011) have described that the behavioural intentions, such as word of mouth of a customer has been playing vital roles to increase number of customers as well as customer satisfaction on particular product/service from a business. The researcher will apply above mentioned models during the primary data collection to explore and analyse overall policies and practices of customer satisfaction at McDonald’s and Burger King.
  64. 64. Theoretical framework of research The researcher would like to provide brief description of each issue that lead to customer satisfaction as follows- i. Product/service feature: Oliver (1997) has defined customer satisfaction as the process of judgment that a product or service feature, or the product/service itself. So, the overall features of the product or service is prime concern in customer satisfaction. For example, West (2012) has mentioned that the quality of a product and/or service builds positive image among the customers and thus they make purchase decisions as they become satisfied with that quality in product and/or service. Thus, it can be predict that the overall features and description has vital influence on customer satisfaction (Hypothesis-1). ii. Customer’s expectation: Customers’ expectations are key determinants of their consumption experiences, satisfaction, and loyalty (Ofir and Simonson, 2001). It is now
  65. 65. widely accepted that exceeding customer expectations is key to customer satisfaction, delight, and loyalty. So, it can be assume that customer’s expectation positively affecting customer satisfaction (Hypothesis-2). iii. Customer’s perception: Customer’s perception is defined as the perceived value against expected value of a particular product/service of a business (Oliver, 1997). As an example, Ho and Zheng (2003) have mentioned that customers will be satisfied if their perceived delivery times are shorter than their expectations in service delivery business. Thus, it can be said that customer’s perception is interrelated and interconnected with customer satisfaction (Hypothesis-3). iv. Customer’s decision making process: A series of activities involved in customer’s decision making process for purchase a product and/or service from a business. The steps of customer’s decision making process include information search, finding and evaluating
  66. 66. alternatives, best value of product/service and simplest means to get the product/service and finally post-purchase behaviour of the customers etc. (Ferrell and Hartline, 2010). It can be assume customer’s purchase decision making process is positively related with customer satisfaction (Hypothesis-4). v. Customer’s post-purchase behaviour: The positive or negative feedback on a particular product and/or service of a business after buying or consuming of that product and/or service can be considered as customer’s post-purchase behaviour (Ferrell and Hartline, 2010). So, it can be noted that customer’s post-purchase behaviour has significant influence on customer satisfaction (Hypothesis-5). Conclusion The review of literature shows that customer satisfaction is becoming key concern for a business, particularly for fast-food business. Due to recent market competition and increased demands and expectations of customer, a business has to develop and implement several
  67. 67. policies and practices to satisfy its customers. The researcher has identified some of the great contributions from several authors and scholars on customer satisfaction at McDonald’s and Burger King. The researcher has also identified some gaps in knowledge and understanding of customer satisfaction. At the end, the researcher would like to opine that this chapter was most important and vital to make standard research report with valid conclusions and recommendations in accordance with issues and concerns in the field of customer satisfaction at McDonald’s and Burger King that identified from the review of literature. Chapter 3: Research methodology Introduction Research methodology is one the most vital chapter/part within a research project. According to Saunders et al. (2009), research methodology helps the researcher to develop effective and appropriate methods to collect relevant data from different sources, such as primary, secondary and tertiary etc. The research methodology helps the researcher to establish
  68. 68. research instrument, i.e. the development and implementation of interview, survey, observation etc. for the purpose of collecting primary data. Thus, it can be noted that this chapter will be able to provide overall description of the research methodology in relation to collect all relevant data and information in accordance with the comparative study of customer satisfaction at McDonald’s and Burger King. Research philosophy Research philosophy depicts the development and nature of knowledge involved in research project. It is the approach that denotes what are doing by the researcher during the research activities (Collins, 2010). He has mentioned that there are three core approaches that reflect research philosophy and these include-  Epistemology- is the study of the theory of knowledge, including the nature, scope and limitations on it;
  69. 69.  Ontology- is the philosophical study of the nature of being or existence; and  Axiology- is the study of quality or value, and is often concerned with ethics and values. The most common research philosophies include- positivism, realism, interpretivism and post-positivism (Saunders et al., 2009). Based on the positivism research philosophy, the researcher believes that the reality is stable and can be observed and described from an objective viewpoint, i.e. without interfering with the phenomenon being studied. This research philosophy is involves in the manipulation of reality with variations in only a single independent variable in relation to form relationships between variables (Saunders et al., 2009). Realism research philosophy describe that knowledge is socially created. According to realism research philosophy, the researcher may view of the research topic from different views and hence the researcher may follow theory building approach to provide general
  70. 70. descriptions of the research topic (Chia, 2002). The interpretivist research philosophy describes that only through the subjective interpretation of and intervention in reality as well as the study of phenomenon in their natural environment helps the researcher to fully understand the reality of under research project. Post-positivism asserts the value of the values, passion and politics in research in considering with the viewing the whole picture and taking a distanced view or an overview of the subjects under research project (Saunders et al., 2009). The researcher has explored and analysed customer satisfaction at McDonald’s and Burger King through measuring customer satisfaction towards the organizations and in this case
  71. 71. positivist research philosophy was most appropriate to collect all relevant data and information from primary and secondary sources. Research approach The validity of a research project may depend on the approach taken by the researcher to collect data. Depending on the research approach, the researcher has to use most effective and appropriate research methods in relation to collect qualitative or quantitative or both from primary source(s). According to Cresswell (2007), there are mainly two research approaches, such as qualitative and quantitative. In qualitative research approach, data comes in the form of description and narration and the main sources of data include- physical observation, interviews etc. In quantitative research approach, data comes in the form of number and the main sources of data include- survey, document review and analysis etc. (Cresswell, 2007).
  72. 72. The other two most common research approaches include- inductive and deductive research approaches (Saunders et al., 2009). The inductive research approach moves from specific observations to broader generalizations and theories, while the deductive research approach moves from more general to the more specific theories. In this research project, deductive research approach has been followed for the purpose of developing a specific theory on customer satisfaction from general observations on it at McDonald’s and Burger King. The researcher has collected data from primary and secondary sources through conducting interview, survey and document analysis etc. So, it can be said that both qualitative and quantitative research approach have been applied to collect all relevant data to explore and analyse the comparative study of customer satisfaction at McDonald’s and Burger King. Data collection methods
  73. 73. It is very important to identify and use most appropriate method(s) in relation to collect all relevant data and information from different sources. According to Saunders et al. (2009), there are several methods that can be used for data collection and the researcher has to identify the most appropriate ones. The researcher has used two most effective research methods, such as semi-structured interview and questionnaire survey for the purpose of collecting primary data on the customer satisfaction at McDonald’s and Burger King. Semi-structured interview is widely used and open framework that allows the researcher to develop focused, conversational and two-way communication approach to collect data. The researcher has used semi-structured interview with management personnel of McDonald’s and Burger King to collect primary data. Questionnaire survey is another effective and appropriate research method to collect data from mass population on particular issue or
  74. 74. subject and thus helps the researcher to develop specific theory based on broad and general perceptions of the mass population. The researcher has also used questionnaire survey with customers at four different restaurants of McDonald’s and Burger King. The researcher would like to mention some the advantages and possible disadvantages of the used methods, such as interview and survey in a table as follows- Table: 3.1. Data collection methods and their advantages and possible disadvantages Data collection methods Advantages Possible disadvantages Semi-structured interview To collect most appropriate and relevant data from key personnel of case studied organization(s); To explore and analyse key existing theories and practices within the case studied organization(s); To develop two-way communication system, i.e. between the interviewer and the interviewee in relation to create flexibility in data collection. It is one the most time consuming research method to collect data; It requires skill and experience of the interviewer to conduct interview in effectively to collect all relevant data from the case studied organization(s). Questionnaire survey To collect large number of data from mass population; To get general perceptions and opinions on research topic from mass population; and It is one the most effective practical research methods that helps the researcher It may have lack of validity of findings; It is difficult to analyse large volume of data to develop specific theory(s) on research subject; and
  75. 75. to create new theory(s) based on collected quantitative data. It is lack of truthfulness and honesty in some cases. Source: Author’s analysis Sampling strategy and sample size Sampling is one the most vital part to collect data from the case studied organization(s). Bryman and Bell (2007) have defined sampling is a process of segmenting of a group of people from mass population for the research investigation. They have mentioned that sampling can be of probability sampling and non-probability sampling. In probability sampling, there is equal chance of each sample to be select during the interview and/or survey and this method is one the most common and effective to ensure minimum error during the data collection from mass population. On the other hand, in non-probability sampling, there is no equal chance of being selected each unit or person during the collection of data from them and in most cases, the unit and/or person is pre-selected for the data collection (Bryman and
  76. 76. Bell, 2007). It is one the most effective sampling strategy to collect data from pre-defined group of people about certain issues. The researcher has followed simple random sampling in relation to select respondents at four different restaurants of McDonald’s and Burger King (i.e. two restaurants of McDonald’s and two restaurants of Burger King). The interview conducted with two management personnel of each restaurant of McDonald’s and Burger King. The survey carried out among fifty respondents of each restaurant of McDonald’s and Burger King. Data analysis tools and techniques Data analysis is an effective and efficient method of analysing large sets of data collected from different sources (Gupta, 2007). Data analysis is very important task for the researcher to prepare standard research report. The researcher has to use different tools and techniques to analyse collected data and some the most common ones include- Microsoft excel,
  77. 77. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) etc. (Gupta, 2007). Data analysis techniques include univariate analysis, bivariate analysis and multivariate analysis etc. Univariate analysis depicts single-variable distributions and their analysis, while bivariate analysis depicts two-variable distributions and their analysis. On the other hand, multivariate analysis refers to all statistical methods that simultaneously analyse multiple measurements on each individual or object under investigation (Hair et al., 1995). Thus, it is clear that data analysis tools and techniques can take the form of simple descriptive statistics or more sophisticated statistical inference. The researcher has used some statistical tools and techniques for the purpose of analysing quantitative data and some descriptive methods to analyse qualitative data, which has been collected from interview and survey. The researcher has used different Microsoft office packages to analyse data collected from primary data secondary sources of both McDonald’s and Burger King. Data presentation techniques
  78. 78. Data presentation is one the most common and important part within research report that helps the researcher to represent all of the collected data in an easy-to-understand way (Alabi, 1999). He has mentioned that data can be summarized and presented in various forms and some of the major common ones include-  Tabulation- data present in tabular form, a table is an array of data in rows and columns that represent large mass of data that provides distinct pattern of the data; and  Diagrammatic representation- data present in various forms, such as pictogram, pie chart, bar chart, histogram and line graph etc. for the purpose of better visual presentation of the data (Alabi, 1999).
  79. 79. The researcher has used different data presentation techniques, including tabulation, pictogram, and other techniques to present both qualitative and quantitative data collected from primary and secondary sources of both McDonald’s and Burger King. Validity, reliability and generalization Validity is one the main concerns with research. Validity is an indication of how the research is valid and more specifically, validity applies to both the design and the methods followed and used in the research project. Thus, validity refers to the soundness of the interpretation of scores from a test, the most important consideration in measurement (Thomas et al., 2011). They have mentioned that there are four basic types of validity and these include- logical, content, criterion and construct validity. Logical validity refers degree to which a measure obviously involves the performance being measured. Content validity refers degree to which a test adequately samples what was covered in the subject. Criterion validity refers degree to
  80. 80. which scores on a test are related to some recognized standard or criterion. Construct validity refers degree to which a test measures a hypothetical construct, usually established by relating the test results to some behaviour (Thomas et al., 2011). The researcher has ensured the validity of the research through developing research design in such a way to collect all of the relevant issues and concerns of customer satisfaction at McDonald’s and Burger King. Pilot study has been done in relation to ensure validity of the research questions as well as in relation to modify and improve research questions to collect most effective and appropriate data on the customer satisfaction at McDonald’s and Burger King. Reliability is defined as the extent to which a questionnaire, test, observation or any measurement procedure produces the same results on repeated trials. In short, it is the stability or consistency of scores over time or across raters (Miller, 1998). As an example,
  81. 81. Miller (1998) has mentioned that the degree to which an individual’s response on a survey would stay the same over time is one the common sign of reliability. There are three aspects of reliability that include- equivalence, stability and internal consistency. The researcher has maintained of all these aspects in relation to ensure reliability of data and in fact, research report itself. The researcher has represented data in appropriate format that has been ensured that the findings were reliable. The researcher has also presented data in such a way that reflects the general perceptions and opinions of customers are reliable through comparing results from interview. Generalization refers to the approach of generalisation of research findings. In simply, generalization denotes the general aspects of the research findings to similar or different research issue. The researcher has presented data in standard format and with appropriate analysis that can be applicable for same or other sectors in terms of comparative study of customer satisfaction.
  82. 82. Consideration of ethical issues There was key focus on the maintenance of ethical issues in this research project. For example, the author has cited and acknowledged appropriately both in text and bibliography of all previous research works that have been used to explore existing theories and practices on customer satisfaction at McDonald’s and Burger King. The researcher has maintained confidentiality, integrity, honesty, objectivity and so on while collecting both primary and secondary data from McDonald’s and Burger King. So, the author want to say there was great effort to ensure the maintenance of all relevant aspects of ethics involved in the completion of a research project from review of literature to data collection as well as during the preparation of final research report on the comparative study of customer satisfaction at McDonald’s and Burger King. Conclusion
  83. 83. Research methodology has crucial influence and importance on the completion of research activities. Research methodology helps the researcher to develop effective and appropriate research design and framework for the purpose of collecting primary and secondary data from the case studied organization(s). Under this chapter, the author has covered all of the things involved in research methodology for the purpose of collecting maximum response from the respondents both in semi-structured interviews and questionnaire survey. Thus, the researcher would like to opine that this chapter has covered all of the relevant issues and concerns of research methodology to develop standard research report in the field of comparative study of customer satisfaction at McDonald’s and Burger King. Chapter 4: Data Presentation Introduction Data presentation is one the most common and important chapter within a research report. The researcher has to present collected data in an appropriate format in relation to provide
  84. 84. clear explanation of the primary research findings. In this chapter, the researcher has provided data presentation that was collected through semi-structured interview and questionnaire survey through two major parts, such as presentation of interview data and presentation of survey data. The researcher has used most effective and appropriate format(s) and method(s) to present both qualitative and quantitative data. For example, to present qualitative data, the researcher has used descriptive statistics methods, such as description of interview results and to present quantitative data, the researcher has used inferential statistics methods, such as percentage. At the end, it can be noted that under this chapter the researcher has presented all of the data collected from semi-structured interview and questionnaire survey from McDonald’s and Burger King. Presentation of interview data
  85. 85. The researcher has conducted four semi-structured interviews with the management personnel of both McDonald’s and Burger King. Each interview has containing more than 20 questions and the duration of each interview was at least 30 minutes. The researcher has tried to developed more interactive and communicative approach during the conducting semi- structured. The researcher would like to present the primary research findings from semi-structured interview as follows- i. Demographics of the interviewees: The researcher has conducted interviews with two management personnel of McDonald’s and two management personnel of Burger King. The demographics of the interviewees can be shown in a table as follows- Table: 4.1. Demographics of the interviewees at McDonald’s and Burger King
  86. 86. Demographic characteristic McDonald’s, UK Burger King, UK Position and Age of the interviewee Store Manager was 35 years old. Team leader was 30 years old. Assistant Store Manager was 32 years old. Team Leader was 29 years old. Gender of the interviewee Both Store Manager and Team Leader were male. The Assistant Store Manager was female and Team Leader was male. Duration of working at position The Store Manager has been working for more than 2 years at this position. Previously he worked at different position at McDonald’s. The Team Leader has been working for more than 3 years. The Assistant Store Manager has been working for more than 4 years. The Team Leader has been working for more than 2 years. Source: Interview data ii. Defining customer satisfaction at fast-food industry: The definition of customer satisfaction is very subjective and varies person to person. For the purpose of identifying most appropriate definition of customer satisfaction at fast-food industry, the researcher has asked the interviewees to define customer satisfaction. Based on the interview results, the definition of customer satisfaction at fast-food industry can be represent as follows-  Store Manager at McDonald’s has defined customer satisfaction as the level of satisfaction by a customer after purchasing and consuming foods from a business.
  87. 87.  Team Leader at McDonald’s has defined customer satisfaction is the positive approach and feedback of customer after buying and eating foods from a restaurant.  Assistant Store Manager at Burger King has defined customer satisfaction is the overall satisfaction of a customer during the purchase and consuming products/foods from a company, like Burger King.  Team Leader at Burger King has defined customer satisfaction as a process of assessing positive attitude and likeness of particular products and/or foods from a particular business. iii. What are the common factors affecting customer satisfaction at fast-food industry: The interview results show that there are some major and common factors that have been affecting customer satisfaction within fast-food industry. The researcher would like to summarize the interview results on factors affecting customer satisfaction as follows-
  88. 88.  The quality of the foods is prime concern that affects customer satisfaction greatly at any fast-food business, stated by Team Leader of Burger King.  The price of the foods is another most common and important factor that affect customer satisfaction of a fast-food business, mentioned by Assistant Store Manager of Burger King.  The location and the physical setting of the restaurant have been playing vital roles to attract customers and thus help to build positive image about the restaurant and its foods. So, it can be noted that the location and physical setting of the restaurant have influence on customer satisfaction, described by Team Leader of McDonald’s.  Finally, the brand name and brand image of the business is considered as vital factor to build strong branding among the customers and thus helps to increase overall satisfaction of a customer, noted by Store Manager of McDonald’s.
  89. 89. iv. What are the key competitive edges of the company that has been increasing customer satisfaction: The key competitive edge is the most unique feature of a business that has vital influence on the overall satisfaction of a customer. The researcher has obtained most relevant and effective data in relation to the key competitive edges of the McDonald’s and Burger King during the semi-structured interview. The interview results can be shown in a table as below- Table: 4.2. Key competitive edge of McDonald’s and Burger King Store Manager/Assistant Store Manager Team Leader McDonald’s One the key competitive edge of the company is brand name and brand image. The quality of the foods and commitment to provide quickest services are another competitive edge of the company. The number of restaurants and the location as well as the decoration of the restaurant can be considered as most unique feature or competitive edge of the company. Burger King The enhanced menu and quality of foods as well as the price of the foods is the prime aspect of the company that increasing customer satisfaction. Moreover, the commitment of the company to build strong relationships with customers can be termed as key competitive edge of the company. The focus on the customers feedback and suggestions as well as the overall approach of handling customers’ complaints is one the most effective and appropriate feature or competitive edge of the company. Source: Interview data
  90. 90. v. How the company has been measuring customer satisfaction and taking actions to increase customer satisfaction: A company can adopt many different ways to identify the level of satisfaction and thus measures the overall approach of customer satisfaction. For example, McDonald’s has been using customer satisfaction survey to hear from the customers as well as recent experience of them at any restaurants of the company. The Store Manager of McDonald’s has mentioned that the feedback from the customers has been directing passing to the restaurants and based on the feedback the business has been developing and implementing different actions to increase customer satisfaction for the next time. In case of Burger King, the company has been using customer satisfaction tracker, known as customer experience programme, one the most unique approach of measuring customer satisfaction, stated by the Assistant Store Manager. The purpose of this program is to investigate and analyse customer experiences in relation to retain existing customers and
  91. 91. attracting new customers. In addition, the Assistant Store Manager of Burger King has mentioned that the information collected from customer satisfaction tracker program directly fed back to the entire Burger King in real time and focus on the organization’s operational aspects on food quality, cleanliness and speed of the service etc. vi. What are the existing policies and practices of the company to satisfy customers: The interview results show that both McDonald’s and Burger King have been using some unique and most effective policies and practices to satisfy their customers. As an example, the Store Manager of McDonald’s has said that the company has been collecting customers’ feedback on shopping experience and thus taking initiatives to increase overall efforts to increase customers’ satisfaction for the next shopping. On the other hand, as an example, the Assistant Store Manager of Burger King has said that the company has been handling customers’ complaints in most effective and appropriate ways to reduce number of complaints as well as
  92. 92. to take actions in relation to address any concerns or complaints of customers. From the interview results, it is clear that besides of these policies and practices both McDonald’s and Burger King has been using some other tools and techniques to satisfy their customers. vii. What are the future plans of the company to increase customer satisfaction: Both McDonald’s and Burger King have planning to introduce different business strategies to be a market leader in fast-food business in the UK. For this reason, both companies have future plans to increase customers’ satisfaction. For example, the Store Manager of McDonald’s has mentioned that the company is planning to focus on the different market segments, such as kids, adult, and older customer segment. Based on the demands and expectation of all market segments, the company is committed to introduce appropriate menu and balanced foods with keeping great concern on healthy issue for each segment. So, the future plans of the company will be able to increase brand image and thus help to increase overall customer satisfaction.
  93. 93. Another example shows that the Assistant Manager of Burger King has mentioned that the company has focusing on the customers’ complaint management. For the purpose of effective customers’ complaint management, the company has been planning to carry out customer survey on regular basis and thus taking relevant actions throughout the entire Burger King system to reduce number of customers’ complaint. Thus, it can be said that this plan is going to help the company to reduce customers’ complaint and thus to increase customer satisfaction. Presentation of survey data The researcher has carried out questionnaire survey among fifty respondents of both McDonald’s and Burger King. The researcher has developed questionnaire through pilot study and pilot survey and thus it can be noted that all of the questionnaire in survey were most relevant and appropriate to explore and analyse customer satisfaction at McDonald’s and Burger King. Each survey has nearly 20 questions and the researcher has selected
  94. 94. respondents on random basis to get perception about customer satisfaction at McDonald’s and Burger King from mass population. The questionnaire survey results can be represent as follows- i. Gender distribution of the respondents: Based on the survey results, the researcher would like to represent the gender distribution of the respondents in a table as follows- Table: 4.3. Gender distribution of the respondents at McDonald’s and Burger King Gender Total number of respondents Percentage of respondents McDonald’s Male 27 54% Female 23 46% Burger King Male 35 70% Female 15 30% Source: Survey data
  95. 95. The survey results show that in case of McDonald’s more than half, such as 54% of the respondents were male and rest, such as 46% of the respondents were female. On the other hand, in case of majority, such as 70% of the respondents were male and rest, such as 30% of the respondents were female. So, it McDonald’s has been experiencing both male and female customers in almost similar percentage, but Burger King has been experiencing more male customer than female customers. ii. Age band of the respondents: The researcher would like to mention the age band of the respondents of both McDonald’s and Burger in a table as follows- Table: 4.4. Age band of the respondents at McDonald’s and Burger King Age Total number of respondents Percentage of respondents McDonald’s 20-29 15 30% 30-39 12 24% 40-49 18 36% 50-above 5 10% Burger King 20-29 24 48%
  96. 96. 30-39 10 20% 40-49 9 18% 50-above 7 14% Source: Survey data McDonald’s and Burger King are serving different aged customers. For example, the age group of 20-29 years represents 30% of respondents at McDonald’s that belongs to the second highest percentage of customers within the business while the same age group represents 42% of respondents at Burger King that constitute the highest percentage of customers within the business. Another example shows that McDonald’s have been providing services to 36% of the customers at the age of 30-39 years, on contrast, Burger King have only 26% of the customers at the age of 30-39 years. The survey results on the age band thus show that both McDonald’s and Burger King have been providing services to different age group customer at different percentage.
  97. 97. iii. Defining customer satisfaction by the respondents: During the survey, different respondents have defined customer satisfaction from different perspective. Based on the survey results, the researcher would like to mention the most relevant and appropriate definition of customer satisfaction as of ‘the positive attitudes of a customer towards a business because of their products, services and other aspects after buying or consuming of those products and/or services by the customer’. Thus, the definition of customer satisfaction reflects some of the major aspects, such as the quality of products, the service quality, the practices to offer best things to customers and other related business activities etc. of a business that involves satisfying customers. iv. How frequently the respondent visits the restaurant, like McDonald’s and Burger King: The survey results on the frequency of visiting at McDonald’s and Burger King by the respondents. Based on the survey results, the author would like to mention that both
  98. 98. McDonald’s and Burger King having almost same or similar frequency of visiting by customers at their restaurant. For instance, 32% customers are visiting twice a week at McDonald’s and 36% of customers are visiting twice a week at Burger King. At McDonald’s about 14% customers are visiting more frequently while at Burger King about 18% customers are visiting more frequently. v. Do the respondents like McDonald’s/Burger King compare to other fast-food chains in the UK: The survey results in relation to overall likeness of McDonald’s and Burger King compare to other fast-food chains in the UK. The survey results show that majority, such as 76% of the respondents have said that they like McDonald’s compare to other fast-food chains in the UK. On the other hand, almost similar percentages, such as 72% of the respondents have mentioned that they like Burger King compare to other fast-food chains in the UK.
  99. 99. vi. What are the common factors that affect customer satisfaction at McDonald’s and Burger King in the UK: The researcher would like to represent the survey results in relation to the common factors that affect customer satisfaction at McDonald’s and Burger King. The survey results represent that there are several factors that can affect customer satisfaction of a business, like McDonald’s and Burger King. For example, about 30% of the respondents of Burger King have mentioned that the quality of products/foods is the vital factor that affects customer satisfaction, on the other hand, only 14% of the respondents of McDonald’s have mentioned that the product quality is important factor that affect customer satisfaction. Another example shows that service quality is one the most common and important factors that affect customer satisfaction and almost similar percentages of respondents, e.g. 26% at McDonald’s and 24% at Burger King have mentioned that service quality affects customer satisfaction.
  100. 100. vii. The level of satisfaction by the respondents with the overall customer service policies and practices at McDonald’s and Burger King in the UK: The survey results on the overall level of satisfaction with the overall customer service policies and practices at McDonald’s and Burger King. The survey results show that half, i.e. 50% of the respondents at McDonald’s are satisfied, followed by 30% are highly satisfied with the overall customer service policies and practices within the business. On the other hand, at Burger King almost half, such as 46% of the respondents are satisfied, followed by 36% are highly satisfied with overall policies and practices for customer service within the business. At McDonald’s 4% of the respondents have mentioned that they are highly dissatisfied with the overall policies and practices for customer service while same percentages, i.e. 4% of the respondents have mentioned that they are dissatisfied with the overall policies and practices of customer service at Burger King.
  101. 101. viii. Suggestions and comments by the respondents to increase customer satisfaction at McDonald’s and Burger King in the UK: The researcher would like to summarize the suggestions and comments, mentioned by respondents of both McDonald’s and Burger King for the purpose of increasing customer satisfaction at McDonald’s and Burger King as follows-  The company should focus on the current trends in fast-food markets and thus focus on the demands and expectations of the customers of different segments;  The company must be committed to deliver or offer quality products and services to the customers as well as the company have to offer competitive price of their foods;  It is important to develop and implement different business strategies in line with customers’ feedback and suggestions, so the company should carry out market research and collect customers’ feedback and suggestions on regular basis; and
  102. 102.  The company should build strong relationships with customers through focusing on their economic, social and psychological perspectives. Conclusion In any research report, the presentation of data or primary research findings has significant importance. The use of appropriate format and techniques to present all of the collected data is another key concern for a researcher. In this research report, the researcher has used most relevant and appropriate format and techniques to present data on the comparative study of customer satisfaction at McDonald’s and Burger King in the UK. All of the relevant issues and concerns of data presentation has been provided in most effectively and appropriately including the presentation of all relevant primary and secondary research findings on the comparative study of customer satisfaction at McDonald’s and Burger King in the UK. Chapter 5: Discussion on research findings Introduction
  103. 103. The discussion on research findings is one the most important part within a research report. The researcher has to discuss both primary and secondary research findings with critical analysis of those findings. Under the this chapter, the researcher has discussed and explained both primary research findings, that were collected from primary sources, such as conducting interviews and carrying out survey and secondary research findings that have been gathered from secondary sources, such as existing documents of the case studied organizations, i.e. McDonald’s and Burger King and different publications, such as books, articles, publications etc. In accordance with the research findings discussion, the author has developed some conclusive remarks and constructive recommendations about the research topic. All of the conclusive remarks and constructive recommendations have been presented at the final chapter of this research project. Primary research findings
  104. 104. The researcher has obtained primary research findings through collecting primary data by conducting interviews and surveys. The interviews have conducted with four management personnel two of each restaurant, i.e. two from McDonald’s and two from Burger King. The researcher has also collected primary data through carrying out questionnaire survey with the customers of each restaurant. A. Discussion on interview data: The researcher would like to discuss the interview results as follows-  The researcher has conducted with the management personal of the case studied organizations, i.e. McDonald’s and Burger King. For example, at McDonald’s, the researcher has conducted interview with Store Manager and Team Leader of a restaurant located at East London, e.g. Commercial Road, Whitechapel, London. On the
  105. 105. other hand, at Burger King, the researcher has conducted interview with Assistant Store Manager and Team Leader of a restaurant located at East London, e.g. Aldgate East, Whitechapel, London. So, the selection of interviewees at McDonald’s and Burger King and the location of the restaurant were most appropriate to explore existing theories and practices to satisfy their customers.  The definition of customer satisfaction is very subjective and varies among person to person. This notion has been proved by the definitions of customer satisfaction provided by the management personal of the case studied organizations, i.e. McDonald’s and Burger King. For instance, the Store Manager of McDonald’s has defined customer satisfaction as the level of satisfaction by a customer after buying or purchasing foods from a business, on the other hand, the Assistant Store Manager of Burger King has defined customer satisfaction as the overall level of satisfaction of a
  106. 106. customer during the buying or purchasing foods/products from a company. Thus, it can be noted customer satisfaction is defined as the process of measuring and evaluating the overall approach of satisfaction with a product/food of a business.  There are different factors and aspects that can affect customer satisfaction. During the interviews, the researcher has derived some the major and important factors that can affect the level of satisfaction of a customer within fast-food industry and these include- the quality of the foods is prime concern to satisfy customer, mentioned by Team Leader of Burger King; the price of the foods, described by Assistant Store Manager of Burger King; the location as well as the physical settings of the restaurant, noted by Team Leader of McDonald’s; and the brand name and brand image stated by Store Manager of McDonald’s.

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